The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

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Description

The book that inspired the Academy Award-winning short film, from "New York Times "bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce. "Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its upsets. "Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds. But the power of story will save the day. Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children's literature, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today's world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it's story that we truly celebrate--and this story, no matter "how" you tell it, begs to be read again and again.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 56 pages
  • 210.82 x 299.72 x 12.7mm | 498.95g
  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • , colour illustrations
  • 1442457023
  • 9781442457027
  • 4,975

Review quote

"Joyce's Academy Award-winning animated short-film-turned-app that celebrates those who care about (and receive nourishment from) books is, ironically, now a picture book. The wonder and mystery inherent in the wordless film and the ability to manipulate the visuals and play the soundtrack on the app's piano beg the question: Can the book compete? As it turns out, the book has its own rewards. Clarity comes from Joyce's well-chosen words. In the opening on a New Orleans balcony, readers learn that Morris "loved words...stories...books." Every day he would "write of his joys and sorrows, of all that he knew and everything that he hoped for." When an Oz-like storm turns everything topsy-turvy, the melancholy man in the pork-pie hat spots a lady held aloft by a "festive squadron of flying books." Her gift leads Morris to a book-filled sanctuary set in a landscape staged and lit like a Maxfield Parrish painting. He tends to the volumes, distributing favorites to visitors, whose once-gray bodies blossom with color. Every life and story ends, and those struggling with their own goodbyes (and yearnings about printed books) may find comfort in seeing the fading elder revert to his younger self in order to be transported by the joyful squadron-just as a little girl arrives to choose Morris's story. The author's motivations (explained on the flap) will resonate with adults in the reading business. The best part? Lingering quietly while savoring the atmospheric scenes of Joyce's narrative vignette." -SLJ, August 2012

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About William Joyce

William Joyce has put his personal stamp on all types of children's media. His books include the "New York Times" bestseller "The Man in the Moon," "Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King," "E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core!," and "Santa Calls." He's won three Emmy awards for his Rolie Polie Olie animated series, developed character concepts for "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life," and made films including "Robots "and "Meet the Robinsons." He's currently executive producer of the DreamWorks Animation release of "Rise of the Guardians" (Fall 2012) inspired by his new series. He is also producing "The Leaf Men," based on his book "The Leaf Men." And his star continues to rise--he won an Academy Award for his innovative short film "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." He lives in Shreveport, LA, and is the founder of Moonbot Studios.

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Review Text

"Ironically, this book in praise of books first appeared as a much-praised iPad app and Academy Award-winning animated short film.§The story, in a nutshell, concerns the titular book-loving Mr. Morris Lessmore, whose personal library is blown away in a terrible wind but who finds meaning caring for the books he finds in a marvelous library. Filled with both literary (Shakespeare, Humpty-Dumpty) and film references ( The Wizard of Oz , The Red Balloon and Buster Keaton), the picture book version of Joyce's story has a quiet contemplative charm that demonstrates the continuing allure of the printed page. Paradoxically, the animated books of the film and app are captured as though in a series of frozen frames. The motif of the bound, printed book is everywhere. Even the furnishings and architectural details of the old-fashioned library in which the books "nest" like flying birds recall the codex. The unifying metaphor of life as story is a powerful one, as is the theme of the transformative power of books. The emphasis on connecting readers and books and the care of books pays homage to librarianship. Rich in allusions ("Less is More") and brilliant in depicting the passage of time (images conflate times of day, seasons and years), Joyce's work will inspire contemplation of the power of the book in its many forms.§As triumphant in book form as in animated and interactive ones."§-- Kirkus Reviews , starred review

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Customer reviews

Reason for Reading: Like everyone else I was enchanted with the short film when it came out and linked it on my blog and FB right away. When I saw the book was out I just had to read it! An absolutely wonderful, whimsical story for book lovers of all ages. A delightful story that just lets one become enraptured with the celebration of books and the story they tell. And even though this "book" is available in true book form here, as a movie, on an ereader and originally as an ipod app, it truly honours the traditional book form in all its ancient glory. The story is joyous and yet slightly bittersweet, leaving one with the feeling that no matter what happens in the future, true books will always be with us in our heart of hearts. We just won't let them go!show more
by Andrea Roberts